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Astros- Payroll Update 2/10/23

Today, we learned the Astros extended Cristian Javier. Click here for the analysis of that deal.

We also learned this week that Kyle Tucker lost his arbitration hearing.

Where are the Astros now from an overall payroll, the CBT, and the 2025 Armageddon we warned you about?

Here are the detail numbers. For those that prefer to just be told what is says skip below.

Payroll in 2023

I currently have the Astros at a $221M CBT payroll in 2023. The Roster Resource folks have the Astros at $217M. They have taken out the 2023 cost of buyouts for Baez, Smith, and Mancini.

Either way the Astros have $12-16M on the 2023 CBT payroll before they hit the 2023 CBT Threshold ($233M).

Payroll in 2024

I have two scenarios for 2024.

Tucker Gets an Extension

The data above assumes the Astros agree to an extension for Kyle Tucker BEFORE the 2024 season now that his 2023 salary is locked in. I ALWAYS expected Tucker to have to reach a 2023 salary agreement or complete the arbitration process BEFORE his long-term deal would get done. This has now happened.

As shown above, I project IF Tucker signs the deal BEFORE the 2023 season that it will be at a $28M AAV likely for 8-10 years. If it is after his 2023 MVP season (😊), Tucker's AAV may grow to $32-35M AAV.

If $28M is the right number and the Astros make the other moves shown above, their 2024 CBT payroll would be approx. $233M vs. a $237M CBT limit.

The payroll flexibility starts to get difficult in 2024.

Tucker Goes Through Arbitration in 2024 and 2025 and leaves after the 2025 season

I don't want to live in this reality, but the 2024 CBT payroll would be $215M.

Payroll in 2025- Armageddon

This year the Astros will have Altuve and Bregman hit FA before the 2025 season IF they are not extended before this.

Bregman will be making over $30M in 2023 but his CBT number in 2023 and 2024 is still $20M.

Altuve will be making $29M in 2023, but his CBT number in 2023 and 2024 is still $23.4M

What would an extension look like for either of those guys? I don't know. I have $64M in this calculation for both.

IF this number is right for 2025, the Astros CBT payroll in 2025 is $267M vs. a CBT of $241M. This would mean they would pay an additional ~$6M in tax IF they are a first time CBT exceeder.

Some are going to want to extend Valdez (who becomes a FA after the 2025 season) as well. This would likely set the Astros over in 2024, or more in 2025.

I know there are too many numbers here. See the spreadsheet above for the Tucker extension option and the spreadsheet below for the non-Tucker extension model.

Let me know what questions you have.

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2 comentários

Wesley Morehead
Wesley Morehead
11 de fev. de 2023

Larry, thanks. Very helpful. Two comment: First, it is rewarding to realize that Astros continue to excel over the big money teams who spend above, some way above, the CBT limits. Brings a smile to my face.

Second, I think Brown needs to pipe down about aggressiveness in extending players. This is just throwing the agents a bone. Fans now expect everybody to be extended tomorrow which works against Cranes desire to control $$ and our ability to actually close some of these deals. To me it shows his newness, lack of experience as “the guy”. I value your opinion on this point in particular. Bonus comment: I think Crane will be ok with a year or two above th…


Dr Lee
Dr Lee
11 de fev. de 2023

Good article Larry. I for one have a strong feeling that Crane and our new GM will not extend anything to Tucker ahead of 2023 season, and will be dealing with the arbitration process at least 1 more time. Unfortunately this is the game the Astros under crane often take, so why change for Tucker. This is not what I want, I’d like them to shore up his contract now, but I think chances are low that happens.

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